This is the first of a series of posts about how to get your wardrobe properly organised once and for all. After all, learning how to organise your wardrobe can save you so much time and energy on a day to day basis, and who wouldn’t want that!
We all have to get dressed every day, sometimes more than once for different activities – no wonder that without a system in place things can easily get messed up very quickly.
So – let’s get started shall we!.© Howard Sandler | Dreamstime.com
As always, I am going to tackle this organising task using the A.D.O.R.E method – taking it one step at a time, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed, and so you can also manage your time a little more – as you can take each section at your own pace.
I hope you enjoy this series, and I would love to hear how you get on with your own wardrobe organising project – here’s to being able to find what you want, when you want it, and dressing so you feel great every day from now on.
STEP ONE – Identify your reason for organising your wardrobe
When it comes to your wardrobe, there are a few common things that I’ve heard (and said) so many times, that you are bound to resonate with at least one – this will usually be the reason you want to get the space more organised, and you want to identify the reason so that you have more motivation to get it done.
Have you found yourself saying any of these in the past few days:-
I haven’t got anything to wear
I can’t find….
My …. is in the wash!
…. They are all common complaints heard in most homes daily, and the main problem with wardrobe organising (or lack of it) is being able to find what you need, when you need it, and it being clean and ready to wear as well.
Once you know why you want to get your wardrobe organised, keep this in mind going forward to give you that momentum….
STEP TWO – Take everything out of the wardrobe
It helps to get your wardrobe (or chest of drawers for that matter) completely empty when you get started, as you can then see exactly what you have in terms of clothes and also space for storing clothes once they go back in.
You will find it almost impossible to sort through things if you only take one thing out at a time – this is the time for a clean slate – to really make a positive change, so why not GO FOR IT!
STEP THREE – Assess the space you have to work with
Miss this step out and you miss a trick.
If you have plenty of space, then you may be able to house all of your clothes back in the space but in an organised way, or you may have to think about storing some items elsewhere.
When you know what space you have, you can make decisions about how best to organise your wardrobe, and what would work for you.
Think about space elsewhere as well, but a word of caution here is that you don’t want to simply move the problem out of the wardrobe, and find that another room becomes a dumping ground for clothes clutter – think of every space in your home as vital space, and only mark out places that you would be able easily to store items (we are probably thinking here of out of season clothes, special occasion clothes etc….)
By now you should have a clear picture of what space you have to work with, what you would ideally like to go where (accessible vs. less accessible etc…, and an idea of the type of space you currently have (hanging, shelves, drawers etc…)
STEP FOUR – Sort through each item
Pick up each item of clothing and make a decision about it there and then – don’t procrastinate or this is the step that will overwhelm you and you won’t get any further.
The best way to sort things out is to create a pile for each of the following (8 in total – click here for my decluttering printables to make the job even easier):-
- KEEP – FREQUENT USE – Items that fit, that go with other items, that you wear often – or have worn in the last 3 months
- KEEP – INFREQUENT USE – Special occasion items such as evening wear, wedding dress, maternity wear
- KEEP – OUT OF SEASON – whatever is not worn in the season you are currently in
- KEEP – TO ACTION – items that require cleaning, mending etc… – NEEDS TO BE DONE ASAP – TOP PRIORITY! – you won’t wear them until these things get done so they are of no use or value at present
- CHARITY – Items in good condition that you don’t wear anymore
- GIVEAWAY – either to friends, Freecycle, supermarket recycling bins etc..
- SELL – on Ebay for example
- RUBBISH – ONLY GENUINE RUBBISH THAT NO-ONE WILL BE ABLE TO USE GOES HERE
“Be Ruthless – you only use 20% of your clothes 80% of the time!”
“Be Ruthless – you only use 20% of your clothes 80% of the time!”
STEP FIVE – Deal with the sorted piles
Up until now you have simply been going through your clothes and sorting them into categories. Now it’s time to start to take some things away and deal with each category in turn.
The 8 categories that you should have now are:-
- KEEP – FREQUENT USE
- KEEP – INFREQUENT USE
- KEEP – OUT OF SEASON
- KEEP – TO ACTION
Ignore the first 3 categories for the time being, as these are items that you want to keep and that don’t need any actions – so they are all clothes that you will need to put back into an organised way later on.
For this step, you are purely wanting to take away anything that’s not staying in your home, and deal with any necessary actions.
This will make things much less overwhelming, and create some much needed space to carry on with the process.
Lets tackle each of the categories in turn:-
** CHARITY **
Bag up all these items and decide on where you want to donate them. Sometimes if you are finding it hard to say goodbye to your clothes it can help to donate them to a charity that’s close to your heart.
The next step is to work out when you will be going to that charity shop in the near future, so either do it right now, or make a note in your diary to take these bags when you are next in the area – and then move the bags to somewhere out of the way (I like to have them in my car boot as then they are there ready when I next pass the charity shop).
** GIVEAWAY **
As with the charity pile, you want to work out where these items are going, and make a plan to get them out of the house and into the right place as soon as you can.
** SELL **
If you are going to sell your clothes on Ebay or similar – consider whether you have the time and energy to list them, manage the auction, and post the items. Yes, you may be able to make some money from selling the items on, but how much is your time worth doing so?
If you do decide that selling is worthwhile, then look at batching up similar clothes as these can be easier to manage (i.e. all size x from a certain store, or a selection of jeans of the same size etc…)
** RUBBISH **
As soon as you can, take all rubbish items to the tip or put in your dustbin if you have the space. Getting them out of the house asap is the key.
** KEEP-TO ACTION **
Your KEEP-TO ACTION pile of clothes are no good to anyone until they have been actioned.
Think about those times when you have gone to your wardrobe and pulled something out that’s got a stain on it, or is damaged and needs mending, or that simply doesn’t fit and needs altering.
Actually getting these actions done means that you will open your wardrobe and be able to wear anything in it – and that would be a great feeling as I’m sure you’ll agree!
This is a great stage to get these actions done, as you are also dealing with the items to take out of the house in your rubbish/charity and recycling piles, so you could always make a journey around your town dropping off items at the dry cleaners, tip etc… all at the same time.
How are you doing?
So, you have now looked at the space you have, gone through each item of clothing and made a decision about what category it belongs in, got all items out of the house that you are not planning to keep, and actioned any items that need something done to them to start wearing them again – give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!
You have finished the sorting and decluttering stages of the process, and should be feeling a lot lighter (usually quite a lot of clothes have been taken away at this stage, and you can start seeing what you really want to keep much more clearly).
Now it’s time to tackle organising what you have left…. CLICK HERE to go to the next part of this series…..